Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 16 Dec 2005

The movie Wild Strawberries finally bubbled to the top of my Netflix queue. Judging from the queue company it was keeping, I’m guessing that a couple of years ago (since, you see, my queue is nigh on 500 entries and it takes a while to accumulate that many) I got into a Criterion Collection kick and added a lot of them to the list at once.

This is one of those All-Stars of movies. When movie buffs speak of Wild Strawberries it is often in a hushed tone and the words themselves seem to fall from their lips with a numinous glow. Who could fail to be intrigued?

So, despite the fact that I have sat through a string of subtitled movies lately and have tired, for the moment, of reading my films, I popped the Wild Strawberries disc into the player and settled down with my movie, my dinner and my cat. My cat, however, would like me to point out that it was not necessarily in that order.

I am sorry to report that I do not see the “Big Deal.” Perhaps in its day this movie was revolutionary and somehow groundbreaking. However to me it resembled little more than a modern-day interpretation of A Christmas Carol. “Cold hearted selfish man experiences hallucinations of an anachronistic form which show him the error of his ways whereupon he takes pity upon strangers and shows affection to his family.”

Perhaps the imagery is somehow striking. Or the camera angles are innovative. I do not know which characteristic(s) recommend this movie to the hall of fame but they apparently escaped me. This does not mean that I dispute the esteem showered upon the film. A great many people with far more knowledge, wisdom and experience than I in the cinematic arts have deemed it a Classic-with-a-capital-C and therefore it truly must be a great movie. I just don’t see it, is all. And it does not bother me in the least to admit this. If I did not “get” Bergman’s creation then perhaps I simply was not part of his intended audience. There is no shame in that. Nor in not being well-steeped in movie lore and craft, to which I also readily admit.

I just didn’t enjoy that 1.5 hours of my life, that’s all.

The one interesting thing that I did take away from the movie is that the Swedish for “Script Girl” is “Script Girl,” according to the opening credits.

And if that is the most that I take away from a movie, you know I could have found a better way to spend my time.